Year shipped: 1933
Headstock: Horizontal ‘The Gibson’ logo, factory original truss rod cover hand engraved with Roy Smeck’s name,
Neck/fingerboard: 19 fret fingerboard with square end and wide pearloid block inlays from the third fret
Body: Maple back and sides
Hardware: Gold-plated metal parts including Grover trapeze tailpiece engraved with Roy Smeck’s name (see Notes below) and individual tuners, the buttons of which are hand engraved with ‘S’ motif
Notes: Fingerboard has been refretted. Replacement pickguard
This guitar was custom built for Roy Smeck. Joe Spann of Gruhn Guitars adds: “While the tailpiece is unusual for a Gibson, the guitar shows no evidence of ever having had any other tailpiece installed. The tailpiece itself is a Grover product and is period correct. Though Gibson is not known to have used this specific tailpiece on any of their other guitars, it seems likely that the item – which is engraved with Roy Smeck’s name – was fitted at his request.
Images courtesy of George Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars
The tailpiece pictured above was specially made for Martin by the Grover Company and is clearly the same item fitted to L-5 89764.